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Hooke, Robert, 1635-1703 / Micrographia: or some physiological descriptions of minute bodies made by magnifying glasses : with observations and inquiries thereupon
(MDCLXVII [1667])

Observ. III. Of fine lawn, or linnen cloth,   pp. 5-6


Page 5


              MI C ROG R AP HI A.
furrow behind it. And though Nature does feem to do it very readily in
all kinds of fluid bodies, yet perhaps future obfervators may difcover
even thefe alfo rugged ; it being very probable, as I elfewhere flbew, that
fluid bodies are made up of fmall folid particles varioufly and ftrongly
mov'd, and may find reafon to think there is fcarce a fiirface in rerurn
nan
tur! perfe&ly linooth. The black fpot w n, I ghefs to be fome fmall
fpeck of ruft, for that I have oft obferv'd to be the manner ofthe working
of Corrofive Juyces. To conclude, this Edge and piece of a Razor, if it
had been really fuch as it appear'd through he AMcrofcope, would fcarce.
Jy have ferv'd to cleave wood, much lefs to have cut offthe hair of beards,
unlefs it were after the manner that Lucian merrily relates charon to have
made ufe ofiwhen with a Carpenters Axe he chop d off the beard ofa fage
Philofopher, whofe gravity he very cautiously fear'd would indanger the
overfetting of his Wherry.
          Obferv. I I I. Offine Lawn, or Linmen Cloth.
'V His is another produ& of Art, A piece of the fineft Lawn I was able
Wmle '1
   to get, fo curious that the threads were fcarce difcernable by the na-
i.
ked eye,and yet through an ordinary Aficrofcope you may perceive what
a goodly piece of coarfe Alatting it is ; what proportionable cords each
of
its threads are, being not unlike, both in fhape and fize, the bigger and
coarfer kind of fEale Riope'yarn,wherewith they ufually make Car/te. That
which makes the Lawn fo transparent, is by the Aficrojio pe, nay by the
naked eye, if attentively viewed, plainly enough evidenced to be the
multitude of fquare hWles which are left between the threads, appearing
to have much more hole in refpeet of the intercurrent parts then is for the
moft part left in a lattice-window, which it does a little refemble, onely
the croffing parts are round and not flat.
  Thefe threads that compofe this fine contexture, though they are as
fmall as thofe that conftitute the finer forts of Silks, have notwithflanding
nothing of their glollie, plcafantrand lively reflecion. Nay, I have been
informed both by the Inventor hinifelf, and feveral other eye-witnefls,
that though the tlaxout ofwhich it is made,has been (by a fingular art, of
that excellent Petrfon, and Noble Vertuofo, M. Char/s Howard, brother to
the Du4c oj Norfid4)f6 curioufly dref;'d and prepar'd,as to appear both to
the e e and the touch, full as fne and asglofRk, and to receive all kinds
of coloursas well as Sleave-Silk ; yet when this Silken Flax is twiaed into
threads, it quite lofeth its former lufter, and becomes as plain and bafe
a thread to look on, as one of the fame bignefs, made of common Flax.
  The reafon of which odd rhenomenon feems no other then this ; that
though the curioufly dreft Flax has its parts fo exceedingly fmall, as to
cquallize, if not to be much fmaller then the clew of the Silk-worm, efpe-
cially in thinnefs, yet the differences between the figures of the confti-
tuting filaments are fo great, and their fubftances fo various, that whereas
                                           C                  thofe


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